The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that globally-recognized Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival is being revived after a 10-year hiatus.
Speaking during the 2020 Argungun International Fishing and Cultural Press Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, he said this is delightful news, considering the fact that this festival is one of the most widely attended festivals in Nigeria and the oldest festival of its kind, dating back many generations.
He said what many may not know is that this festival was also inscribed in 2016 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. “The List was created to ensure better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance”.
He noted that the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has attached a great importance to this festival, just like many of the great festivals nationwide. “This explains why we are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the maximum publicity for the forthcoming festival”. “We are going to Argungu next week with a battery of journalists from here in order to help raise the profile of the festival. We will be using the new and traditional media to put the 2020 Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival on the national and international map.
The festival deserves no less”, he said. He added that the inclusion of Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival in the Calendar of Nigerian Festivals which are now set to be published. “With this Calendar, domestic and international tourists can plan their attendance of the various festivals with ease”. “These festivals are the rich ingredients for the enhancement of tourism in Nigeria, and they are part of the Creative Industry which is one of the areas the federal government relies on for the diversification of the economy away from oil.
They do not only enhance the economy, they also provide jobs, especially for women and the youth”, he said. He said the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture have made it priority to raise the visibility of cultural festivals by attending as many of them as possible. “Only two weekends ago, I was also in Kebbi State, with a media entourage, to attend the Yauri Regatta Festival.
I have also attended the Puus Kaat Festival in Mangu, Plateau; the Nzem Berom Festival in Jos, also in Plateau and the Ijakadi Festival in Kwara State, among others”, he said.